Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Cooperative Principle Analysis of Greg Mbarjiorgu’s Wake up Everyone

By Attabor, Ocheja Theophilus
Department of English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Kogi State
University, Anyigba
The paper is an application of Cooperative Principle to dramatic conversation using Greg Mbajiorgu’s play, Wake Up Everyone. The play is an ecological play in which fictional Ndoli land is faced with flood related disaster and the dialogue between Prof Aladinma and the Chairman determines the fate of the community. If communication is to be effective and successful, then interlocutors should cooperate in talk exchanges. However, people fail often to cooperate in talk exchanges by not observing
the Maxims. Our analysis is purely textual and qualitative and the primary source of data is Wake Up Everyone. We chose the dialogue between Prof. Aladinma and the Chairman of Ndoli local government on pages 13-18 as resources for analysis.  There are 32 speech contacts between them all in Act one, Scene one which were analyzed in line with H.P Grice’ Cooperative Principle in which seventeenspeeches failed to cooperate while fifteen speeches cooperated. In our findings, most of the Chairman’s
contributions reflect looting and embezzling disposition which some Nigerian public servants and politicians glamorize today at the expense of the plight of the masses by not cooperating in talk exchanges. We concluded that expressions do not reflect intentions and it is evident in those dialogues

Key words: Implicatures, maxims, cooperation, non-observance
Opinions of scholars are diverse on the issue of Pragmatics. Holmes (1992p.357)
interaction” But further studies show that “Pragmatics studies the use of language in human communication as determined by the conditions of society” (Mey 1993:6). Therefore Pragmatics is the extended analysis of meaningbeyond grammar and word meaning to the relationship between the participants and the
background knowledge they bring to a situation. Homes (1992) noticed that context of situation is one of the crucial factors in Pragmatics when it comes to interpreting what is meant. This can be further expatiated using the sentence I can hear someone talking. This sentence is amenable to different meanings depending on the speaker. The meaning it gives if uttered by a teacher in a classroom setting is different from the meaning it gives when uttered by one
of two police officers investigating an empty house, or when uttered by two abandoned kidnapped women in a forest
All speech occurs in an interactive context in which the discussants make choices from the linguistic system including lexical and grammatical choices that express appropriatemeaning. Pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance. In this respect, Pragmatics explains how language users are able to overcome apparent ambiguity, since meaning relies on the manner, place, etc of an utterance. It is against this background that this paper investigates language within contextualized parameters (dramatic conversation) using Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone as primary source and H.P Grice'
cooperative Principle as Theoretical Framework.
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